RPG Index: Single player Role Playing Games

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Final Fantasy 8

Genre: JRPG, RPG
Release Date: February 11th, 1999
Platforms: PC, PSX
Score: 9/10
Similar Titles: Dragon Quest, Chrono Trigger, Grandia

A fair bit of controversy surrounds Square-Enix and their eighth instalment of the series, some hail it as the best game of the franchise; others criticise it as the worst.

Since I'm not here today to continue the age old argument, I'm going to skirt over the subject and get straight on to my personal opinion regarding this game.

What you will find in Final Fantasy VIII is a well developed JRPG story with a tinge of romance, backed up by a fairly interesting battle system. Intimidating at first, junctioning and controlling GFs (Summons, like Shiva and Ifrit) and magic can be frustrating. Early on you will find yourself in unnecessary battles for a prolonged amount of time; merely to draw basic magics from an enemy to power up your party. Despite this annoying flaw, the random battles are surprisingly bearable through most parts of the game.

Square-Enix also attempted to make drastic changes to how battles functioned, implementing features that allowed enemies and bosses to level up at the same pace as your characters, GFs being able to learn their own abilities, and a new style of limit break. Overall, the improvements did make a difference; the fights had more depth and tactics than the games predecessors.

The key factor to enjoying Final Fantasy VIII is to appreciate the story; although the same could be said for any of the games. I can't say the plot is flawless, but I found myself engaged enough to play obsessively on my first couple of playthroughs.

Squall Leonhart, the protagonist is essentially a soldier, working under the command of Balamb Garden,a home to many young orphans and students alike. Gardens are situated throughout the world with dozens of pupils, as a military power of sorts. Students are assigned under squads, and employed on missions similar to mercenaries. All residents of Balamb Garden aspire to rise to one role, SeeD. SeeD are the highly qualified soldiers of Garden.

Squall is a strong and angsty young teenager, approaching the day of his SeeD test. Although he doesn't have many friends, he has a groupie who goes by the name Instructor Quistis Trepe, and a rival named Seifer. When I put it that bluntly it sounds terrible, but if you are no stranger to Final Fantasy games you'll know they can weave a damn good story.

I don't think it's appropriate to go into more detail without spoiling the game, so guy buy it you scrubbers!

As you may know, I have already reviewed Final Fantasy 7, which can be found here.


  1. I never finished this game when I was younger, maybe I will pick it up again today

  2. I thought it was pretty good
    the story is somewhat shifty but I mean hey it is a fantasy world, its not meant to be overly analyzed :P

  3. God I LOVED this game. It was my defining moment as a gamer and as a child. This whole story was such a large inspiration to things and changed the way I viewed my life. I know it must sound silly, but it was quite the experience for me. I love this one above all else. I'm glad you decided not to shun this game like so many do.

  4. The game actually made me learn guitar, "The landing" was the greatest song ever!
    How to Hack Life.

  5. i've played it twice but can't seem to finish it for some reason.

  6. I never played and Final Fantasy games, wish I had. I agree with you, as with any game, the key to really enjoying it is to get into the story!